NEW SIGNING’S ON SHOW FOR SKELMERSDALE THIS WEEK
By Neil Leatherbarrow
The wait for Skelmersdale United fans will be over this week, as Tommy Lawson’s side takes to the floor with eight new signing’s in a pair of friendly encounters this week. Firstly Skelmersdale will meet Airbus UK Broughton at Stormy Corner on Saturday 19th July, kick off 3pm, the Welshmen arriving fresh from a trip to Norway, where they played FK Haugesund in a Europa League qualifying tie.
The second encounter on Thursday 24th July is against another team that will have recently returned from foreign places, League One Fleetwood Town, who will have just completed a week long training camp in the Austrian Alps. The Cod Army will play two games in Austria this week against FC Terek Grozny and FC Pinzgau Saalfelden. Supporters are reminded that the Fleetwood game will be a 7.30 kick off instead of Skelmersdale’s usual midweek kick off time of 7.45 and they have said they are fetching a strong team for the game.
It is well known that Tommy Lawson is looking forward to getting his team into action. Earlier this week he spoke of how the pre-season is going so far, saying; “The lads have worked very hard and have responded well to my usual tough regime for pre-season, they have earned the right to play football and they and myself are looking forward to the next week, when they can get the ball out and play. . . We have eight new players and will use the games to gel them together for the season, we also have a couple who have done well in training and they will get a chance in the games too.”
The eight players Tommy’s referring to are; Goalkeeper Martin Fearon, defenders Rob Bodie and Ross Lloyd, wingers Josh Sumner and Michael Monaghan, midfielders Danny Coid and Aidan Kirkbride, plus striker Danny Mitchley.
Fearon is a very experienced goalkeeper who has played in the Football League for Accrington Stanley having started out with Burnley, more recently he has played for Conference Premier Chester, but is also well known to Skelmersdale supporters for a very impressive spell with Lancaster City.
Bodie is an imposing central defender who has been on Skelmersdale’s books before he moved on to play for Runcorn Linnets and Clitheroe before doing well last season for Witton Albion.
Twenty four year old Ross Lloyd spent last season with Kendal Town and is known to Skelmersdale United supporters too, having played during 2010/11, he is another player who has developed his game away from the club and will be an asset on the right-hand side this season.
Sumner and Monaghan both arrive from Marine, where they made the breakthrough into Evo-Stik Premier football last season; both made a good impression on Tommy Lawson last season and will be striving for regular places in the Skelmersdale side.
Danny Coid brings a wealth of experience; he is 32 and has 293 Football League appearances under his belt, mainly for Blackpool where he spent over ten years as a full-time player, but also with Rotherham United and Accrington. Tommy Lawson hasn’t said, but he must be a candidate for the captain’s role this season.
Aidan Kirkbride is a 24 year old who has been playing in the USA for the last three seasons in North Carolina, he is Ormskirk based and started his career with Wigan Athletic, where he played alongside Lewis Field with the Latics. Tommy has gone on record about how pleased he is with him.
Last and certainly not least is striker Danny Mitchley. Danny was a full timer at Blackpool too and appeared in the Football League, though latterly scored 26 goals in 38 appearances for Kendal Town last season, where he was the third highest goalscorer in the Evo-Stik Division One North. Arriving at Stormy Corner is something of a coming home for Danny, he is a Skelmersdale lad who started out with Skem Utd Juniors before embarking on his professional career.
It should be an interesting pre-season at Skelmersdale and with the added experience this season; they are hoping to at least emulate last season’s challenge for promotion. Tommy Lawson certainly hopes so.